Updated (03/24/2016): Good news. If you have a Table of Contents in the back of your book at Amazon, you should be okay. This issue over the Table of Contents has (thankfully) turned out to be less serious than I thought. If anyone else has more light to shed on the issue, please share.
What I have taken from this whole thing (and I think it’s worth noting) is that trying to scam the system at any online retailer will end up getting back to you. So keep it honest.
Here’s the original post (and I have edited it in light of the new information):
I still want to give credit to David Gaughran for taking the time to keep all authors informed about things we need to watch out for. Here’s his blog.
So what’s been happening at Amazon that has concerned a lot of authors?
Apparently some Kindle Unlimited authors are putting a link at the very front of their books promising something (like a gift card or a free Kindle) if readers click on that link. This link will take the readers to the very end of the book, and this has, in turn, signaled “all pages read” for the Kindle Unlimited program. So those authors are getting credits for pages that the readers haven’t actually read.
How many authors are doing this? That’s anybody’s guess. My feeling is that most Kindle Unlimited authors are honest and not trying to scam the system. But, as is the case with almost anything, the actions of a few are affecting the majority.
What can you do?
I still think this might be a good time to add a Table of Contents to your book if you don’t already have one. I’m in the process of doing this for my older titles. To those of you who argue it’s pointless to have a Table of Contents in a book, especially fiction, I received quality report notices from Amazon over the past three years telling me I must have one. So be on the safe side and add it in.
Amazon has come out and said a Table of Contents in the back or front is okay as long as it doesn’t result in poor customer experience. So I’m guessing, “Keep it clean and neat.”
Check your books at Amazon to make sure the “Buy” button is still active. If not, see what you can do to get it back. (This is still probably a good idea.)
Warn others this scam has been going on.
I’ll keep this update below:
Added March 19, 2016:
Terry Compton (refer to comments below) has shed more light on this issue. It appears it is okay to have a Table of Contents in the back of your book as long as it doesn’t create a poor reader experience. Also the Table of Contents must not unnaturally inflate sales or pages read. Here’s the link for additional information. So to err on the side of caution, don’t play games with the system. Earn your pages read and sales legitimately.